On the 29th birthday of the web, here are its 9 most important developments


The World Wide Web was first proposed 29 years ago today, but what has been the single most important development since then?

Happy birthday to the World Wide Web!

Or conception day, maybe – which was 12 March 1989. The WWW was officially invented 29 years ago today when Sir Tim Berners-Lee wrote his proposal for a new information system at CERN.

“Vague, but exciting,” his supervisor wrote on the cover of the document, laconically greeting an invention which would transform the world’s economy – and its society too.

Not everybody thinks it has changed things for the better though.

Using our ranked poll, tell us which of the web developments over the last 29 years you think have been the most important.

1. Video streaming

Once upon a time, videos had to be downloaded in their entirety before they could be watched. It took a lot of software engineers a lot of work to develop a system that allowed videos to be streamed, or watched at the same time as they were downloaded. Now, funny cat videos can propagate just as fast as the ramblings of Holocaust deniers. At a mouse click, we have access to thousands of video tutorials on almost every conceivable subject, and documentaries about the rest.

2. News websites

There was a time when we had to unfold a small gazebo covering in order to find out what was happening in the world around us. News websites make that process much easier, employing a generation of highly educated graduates to entertain us with informative listicles

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